Britain's EU exit could lead to banking exodus -Financial Times

Reuters - UK Focus

(Adds Bank of America response)

Aug 17 (Reuters) - Some Wall Street banks are drawing uppreliminary plans that include moving some of their London-basedoperations to Ireland (Other OTC: IRLD - news) to deal with the possible scenario ofBritain leaving the European Union, the Financial Times reportedon Sunday, citing people familiar with the situation.

Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C - news) , Morgan Stanley (Xetra: 885836 - news) and Bank ofAmerica Corp are considering Ireland as an alternativelocation for some of their European activities if they need tomove them out of the UK, according to people familiar with thebanks, the Financial Times reported.(http://on.ft.com/1t80uTx)

The FT reported that the plans were at a very early stage.

Bank of America and Morgan Stanley declined to comment onthe article. Citigroup could not immediately be reached forcomment outside regular working hours.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to conduct areferendum on a renegotiated EU membership if the Conservativeparty is re-elected in 2015. This possibility has raised fearsthat the world's sixth-largest economy could quit the club itjoined in 1973.

The situation worries many in the City of London (LSE: CIN.L - news) , thefinancial centre that accounts for roughly one-tenth of theBritish economy. (Reporting by Karen Rebelo in Bangalore; Editing by JanPaschal, Jason Neely and Eric Walsh)

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